New Initiative Aimed at Expanding the Reach of NB Music

Category: music 145

East Track Mind curates playlists that serve to introduce new audiences to East Coast sounds.

Matt Carter 
Classified and David Myles on stage at the 2017 East Coast Music Awards gala. Photo: Heidi-Lyn O’Connor  (East Track Mind)

We all know curated playlists are a great way to discover new music and just about every label, publication, and music lover out there has at one time crafted a list of tracks they believe deserve to be heard by a larger audience. But when it comes to sharing music, some folks go the extra mile. Last fall, Moncton music lover Heidi-Lyn O’Connor  decided to combine her love for the playlist format and East Coast music to create East Track Mind, a project that uses the playlist model as a form of advocacy on behalf of musicians throughout Atlantic Canada. 

“I have been passionate about local music since I first became a photographer for the ECMAS in 2012. I remember the shock I felt when I realized that so much incredible music had been coexisting with me nearby and yet I had no idea it existed,” said O’Connor . 

“In sharing that enthusiasm with others over the years I have found that anyone who is familiar with our local music scene is the exception to the rule. I’ve always thought that is heartbreaking. I really want to be able to help grow home base support for our musicians and make any sort of impact that I can on the public’s recognition of our artists.”

Through East Track Mind, O’Connor  shares her unique playlists with local businesses with the goal of making #listenlocal a regular part of their day to day.  

“By approaching local businesses and bringing them on board I hope to not only increase spins for our artists, but vastly expand the public’s interaction with them,” she said. “Whether they are passively hearing the music as they shop or taking the extra effort to look up the bands they have found through the project and connect with them, I hope ETM can foster a sense of ownership and pride of our local music that I simply don’t see existing currently. People are very quick to shop local and brag about it on social media, so why aren’t we just as proud and supportive of our music?”

And her efforts are getting noticed. O’Connor  has received positive feedback from musicians and listeners who have each discovered new music from this part of the country they had never heard before. 

“My favourite compliment is when musicians reach out to tell me they thought they knew everyone in the community and ended up finding lots of new artists they were blown away by. In that way, I believe the project is building bridges in the music industry here between musicians and I hope those same connections will also be made between musicians and the public. 

“By building a brand around the theme of LISTEN LOCAL I hope I can inspire people to think about the impacts of their listening habits and choose to support East Coast music. Having measurable fans on streaming services can help a musician’s career in many ways.

In addition to managing several curated playlists, O’Connor  plans to offer more promotional services in the future in addition to her ongoing work as a music photographer. 

“We have many more playlists still being released each month and will grow to do some features on other Canadian music.”

O’Connor ‘s many playlists can be found by searching East Track Mind on Spotify. To submit your own music or to learn more about the project, contact Heidi-Lyn directly at

All photos by Heidi-Lyn O’Connor  – East Track Mind

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